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[Review] Microsoft Surface Book vs Surface Pro 4



Surface Product Line 2016

The Surface product line by Microsoft are premium devices which means they come at premium prices. However, the Surface products are one of the best in the industry right now offering some very impressive specs with little to no bloatware (unnecessary crap) on the devices itself.

Microsoft have unveiled many Surface products ranging from the first ever Surface (formerly called Surface RT) to the current Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices. So far, Microsoft have unveiled 9 Surface devices. The journey in the Surface Family haven’t been smooth sailing, notably when a dumbed-down version of Windows was thrown onto the earlier models of Surface. This version of Windows was called Windows RT.

Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft Surface Book

Surface Book Microsoft Surface Book 1 Surface Book 2

Recently I have had the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 to use and test out. The Surface Book upon first unboxing is pretty heavy weighing in at 1578 grams. This is because the NVIDIA GPU ]is located in the keyboard, however without the GPU the entire unit is still 1516 grams with the keyboard. Just the tablet itself, it weighs okay however still verging on the heavy side.

My Surface Book was the highest spec’d model: i7 with NVIDIA GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD. Surface Book has a 13.5″ PixelSense display with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 and so words and texts were pretty tiny on the Book if the resolution was not changed. Some programs such as Adobe products had not adjusted to the big resolution so it was virtually impossible to read what the program said. Someone on Twitter pointed me to this page (Adobe App Scaling on High DPI Displays (FIX) ) to change some parameters in the registry.

The Surface Book has the following ports:

  • Two full-size USB 3.0
  • Ultra-high-speed Full-size SD card reader
  • Surface Connect
  • Headset jack
  • Mini DisplayPort
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Surface Pro 4 2 Surface Pro 4 3 Surface Pro 4 4

The Surface Pro 4 on the other hand only weighed 786 grams. My Surface Pro 4 had the 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. It was still more the sufficient to run all my Chrome tabs (which I have a habit of having a lot of them open for work). The display has a slightly smaller screen, a 12.3″ PixelSense display, with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 (267 PPI). The m3 model has Intel HD graphics 515, the i5 has Intel HD graphics 520 and the i7 has Intel Iris graphics.

It also has the following ports:

  • Full-size USB 3.0
  • microSD Card reader
  • Headset jack
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Cover port
  • Surface Connect

Both the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 have a 5.0MP front-facing camera and an 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video.

I found myself taking the Surface Pro 4 out a lot more with me just because of how light and portable it was. I’ve taken it to be used in the car and in the library. The battery lasts a decent 3-4 hours and I even manage to watch a couple of TV shows on the library WiFi before needing to be plugged in.

So yes, my favourite Surface device is currently the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Not to mention the top spec Surface Pro 4 ($3599) is $1300 cheaper than the top spec Surface Book ($4899) which has an added NVIDIA GPU in its keyboard.

For more information on the Microsoft Surface family please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-nz

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